Spain Civil Registration - Vital Records

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Beginning Research
Record Types
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Definition[edit | edit source]

Births, marriages, and deaths were recorded by the local Juzgado de la Paz, or Oficinia del Registro Civil.

Time Coverage[edit | edit source]

Spanish civil registration records (births, marriages, and deaths) began in 1871. Some municipios may have civil registration records beginning as early as 1837.

Information Content[edit | edit source]

Births[edit | edit source]

Spanish civil registration birth records are among the richest genealogical records in the world. Birth records typically provide the following information:

  • Place and date of child's birth (often times they provide the exact time of birth)
  • Full name, profession and place of birth of the child's father
  • Full name and place of birth of the child's mother
  • Full name and place of birth of the child's maternal and paternal grandparents

Be sure to check marginal notes in the birth record of your ancestor. Often times recorders will note the marriage and/or death dates of the individual.
One substitute for a civil registration birth record is a baptism record. A wiki article describing an online collection of Baptisms for Spain is found at:

Marriages[edit | edit source]

Marriage records are also very valuable in Spanish genealogical research. Marriage records provide the following information:

  • Date when the marriage occurred
  • Full names, marital status (single or widowed) and places of birth for both the bride and groom
  • Full names, and places of birth for the parents of the bride and groom

Couples usually married in the home town of the bride (if the family still lived there).

Deaths[edit | edit source]

Death records should not be overlooked. Death certificates often provide additional information about the deceased and his or her family. You can expect to find the following information in Spanish death records.

If the deceased was single:

  • Full name, age, occupation (if applicable), place of birth, and death date of the deceased
  • Full name of the deceased parents, and often times their places of birth
  • Cemetery where the deceased was buried

If the deceased was married or widowed:

  • Full name, age, occupation (if applicable), place of birth, and death date of the deceased
  • Full name of spouse (whether deceased or living), and often their place of birth
  • Cemetery where the deceased was buried
  • If the deceased created a will and the name of the Notary that notarized the will.
  • Sometimes living descendants (could include name of living children, and other heirs)

Extract Forms[edit | edit source]

The following extract forms were created by Dr. George Ryskamp, JD, AG. These particular forms are designed to be used for Spanish research; however, they can help in other research areas, such as Italy, France, Portugal, etc. Click on the type of record form you would like to use and print it for your own files.

Birth/Baptism Extract Form

Marriage Extract Form

Death/Burial Extract Form

These forms are designed to help you quickly analyze and organize your documents. They can become a personal index for your family records.

Obtaining Civil Registration Records[edit | edit source]

Ministra de Justicia[edit | edit source]

Spain does have a national index or central repository for civil registration (Ministra de Justicia). Researchers can solicit the Ministra de Justicia online for copies of certificates. Requests must have: name of deceased, date when event ocurred (birth, marriage, or death), and where the event occured. Parent's names will also be required when asking for a birth certificate. For more information on how to order these records online, please see the article Order Spain Vital Records Online.

If you understand Spanish, you may want to view this short video that explains how to order a birth certificate online from the Ministry of Justice in Spain. The process is virtually the same to order a marriage or death certificate.

Most civil registration records have not been microfilmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, however, if you are researching from outside of Spain you should perform a Place Search in the FamilySearch Catalog to determine if the civil registration records for the town you are researching in have been microfilmed.

If the records you need have not been microfilmed you will most likely need to write to the archive where the records are housed.

Online Resources[edit | edit source]

  • Censo Guia de Archivos de Espana e Iberoamerica
    • The Archive Directory (Directorio de Archivos) will allow you to search for nearly any archive in Spain. Each archive entry will give you an inventory of the records in that archive as well as the archive's contact information.

Basque Country[edit | edit source]

  • Birth Records
  • Marriage Records
  • Death Records
    • This site will allow you to order a birth, marriage, or death certificate from any municipality in the Basque Country (provinces of Alava, Guipuzcoa, and Vizcaya) for free.

Local Civil Registration Office[edit | edit source]

The records are still housed in each municipality in their local municpal archives, Juzgado de la Paz or Oficina del Registro Civil should be contacted if a certificate copy request to the Ministra de Justicia fails.

Larger cities may have multiple civil registration districts, and smaller towns may have their own civil registration office, or belong to an office of a nearby town. To determine the political jurisdiction for the town where your ancestors came from please see the Spain Gazetteers article.

The best way to find out if civil registration records are available in the town you are researching in, and to get the address of the archive is through the Directorio de Archivos in the Censo-guia.

FamilySearch Records[edit | edit source]

Some municipios may have civil registration records beginning as early as 1837. These births, marriages, and deaths are normally found in the municipal archive. Some of them have been microfilmed and/or digitized by FamilySearch.